Watford to squeak a vital win over the Canaries

It's 17th against 18th in the Barclays Premier League at Vicarage Road on Friday night. Watford and Norwich City have a single win between them in their respective previous six matches, and that was for Dean Smith's men last time out. Their 2-1 triumph over Everton was sufficient to get Rafa Benítez sacked, and they need to make the most of what they can get against opponents in relegation trouble. Read our preview here:

No Josh-ing around

Claudio Ranieri has a total of eight first team players out of contention for the huge clash in Hertfordshire. Having frozen out Danny Rose himself, he also has three members at AFCON, and a further four on the treatment table. He can take a crumb of comfort in that the visitors have a similar situation on their hands, but his focus will primarily be on retaining his job. For that to happen, a victory must be gained here, and Joshua King will be leading the line. The Norwegian international has five goals to his name in a struggling side, and his complementary style should bring the midfield ranks high up the pitch with him.

Jacob's ladder

Nine individuals won't be donning the Canaries' black and laser blue change kit for their trip south-west. Full-backs Brandon Williams and Max Aarons are unlikely to cover from their knocks sustained against the Toffees in time, but Smith will be keenly aware that he needs to take the game to the opposition once again. Adam Idah scored last time out, so he will directly partner Teemu Pukki up top. Jacob Sørensen, who hasn't had many chances to impress since promotion, will be tasked with pulling the strings behind them, and he will be a vital box-to-box presence in a numerically outnumbered engine room.

Hornets primed

The stakes are getting ever higher at the foot of the top tier, and these kinds of encounters can define a season. betway have odds of 2.05 for a rare Watford win that would give them some temporary breathing space.

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